Dublin is not cheap for general shopping. If you want to find thrifty nick nak shops, then Talbot street is a good start. Like any city, if you look hard enough and don't get caught up in the glitz and glam when shopping, there are great bargains to be found.
Dublin is a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists. Dublin's most famous shopping street is the pedestrianised Grafton Street, which runs between St. Stephen's Green and Trinity College. It has recently, along with its surroundings, been classified as an 'Architectural Conservation Zone'. This will involve a re-establishment of the area's rich historic charm and urban character. The best concentration of shoe shops is found on Grafton Street and the adjoining Wicklow Street.
Brown Thomas, Dublin's most famous and expensive department store is on Grafton Street along with a wide range of clothing, jewelry, and photography shops.
The Powerscourt Centre, just off Grafton Street, is one of Dublin's most attractive shopping centres, set in a beautifully restored 18th century townhouse. Here, you will find clothes, cafes, galleries and Irish designer jewelers. You must check out the The Loft Market - it is a haven for Dublin Fashion. There is lots of up and coming young fashion designers and vintage clothing sellers such as Perk Up! Vintage, Lisa Shawgi Knitwear and MO MUSE to shop around. Beware the overpriced antique dealers, some of whom will drop a price by 50% after only the merest suggestion that you are willing to haggle (and it still may not be a bargain). For gifts, there is an engraving business based in the centre next to Bonsai Shop.
Leaving Powerscourt via the ornate steps on to South William Street, you will find yourself facing a small street called Castle Market, which leads to a covered red-brick shopping arcade known alternatively as the Market Arcade or the Georges Street Arcade. This area is worth a visit for vintage clothing, fabrics, unusual accessories, vinyl and club wear. It also features some small cafes.
Image: Shopping in Dublin, Grafton Street
Alongside the historic Trinity College you will find Nassau Street where there are many shops selling tourist-related items such as Waterford Crystal, Belleek Pottery, Aran sweaters, and other Irish craft items. Shops selling these items include House of Ireland and Kilkenny Design.
Dawson Street, parallel to Grafton Street, is home to the official residence of the lord mayor - the 'mansion house' as well as several upmarket clothes shops, restaurants and well stocked large bookshops including Hodges Figgis.
O'Connell Street and Henry Street
There is also an extensive shopping area on the north side of the river, in Dublin 1, centred on O'Connell Street and Henry Street (Ireland's busiest shopping street).
Just off Henry Street is Moore Street, which has a fruit, vegetable and fish market. It's worth a stroll if you want to get a slice of life from the less genteel side of Dublin. For a more traditional Dublin shopping experience go to the Liberties area around Thomas street and check out the stalls on Meath street and the liberty market (off Meath Street) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. At the top of Henry Street on Parnell Street is Chapters, which has a massive selection of books at generally cheaper prices than other high street stores, as well as a large secondhand section. It is especially great for 'coffee table' style art books.
Be sure to visit Temple Bar's Temple Bar Square and Meetinghouse Square on a Saturday morning or afternoon for the markets (Dublin 2), which sells all types of foods, from traditional fare to delicious baked goods. Both squares are also home to several very good restaurants. Meetinghouse Square, which lies only about 150 ft (50 m) west of Temple Bar Square, sells much finer fare and more exotic foods than Meetinghouse Square.
The Temple Bar area offers some alternative to shopping at the larger chain-stores. Small clothing boutiques, including the city centre's only swap shop, are popping up all around the area (Temple Lane, Crow Street and Fownes Street) with an emphasis on vintage and unique original independent designer pieces. If you can't make it to any of the markets at the weekend, the best can be found here during the week.